|Categories:||Law Penal system|
In dissent, four judges said that:
There was no first-hand witness of the said violation
No healthy prisoners had a right to freedom and only those affected were viable for release.
This case is significant since it poses both a legal and social dilemma. Overpopulation of the prison denies the inmates the right to proper medical treatment, while releasing the prisoner promotes insecurity and crime in the state and promotes recidivism (Newman & Scott, 2012) As Pifer and Reiter (2015) put it, this case was symbolic of administrative discretion and the political resistance to reform. In other words, although the state government was adamant to change, the Court proved that it was capable of imposing punitive measures in dealing with the situation. The first of this manner to appear before the Supreme Court was Bell v. Wolfish, although the court did not order depopulation since the plaintiffs were not incarcerated at the time of litigation. It shows, therefore, that prisoners have a constitutional right to instigate a judicial debate aimed at improving their welfare, and the decision of the Supreme Court was right with respect to both the constitution and Prison Litigation Reform Act of 1995.
Bower, A. (2011). Unconstitutionally crowded: Brown v. Plata and how the Supreme Court pushed back to keep prison reform litigation alive. Loy. LAL Rev., 45, 555.
Brown v. Plata. (n.d.). Oyez. Retrieved November 15, 2016, from https://www.oyez.org/cases/2010/09-1233
Newman, W. J., & Scott, C. L. (2012). Brown v. Plata: prison overcrowding in California. Journal of the American Academy of Psychiatry and the Law Online, 40(4), 547-552.
Reiter, K., & Pifer, N. (2015). Brown v. Plata. Oxford Handbooks
Salins, Lauren, and Shepard Simpson. "Efforts to fix a broken system: Brown v. Plata and the prison overcrowding epidemic." Loyola University Chicago Law Journal 44.4 (2013).
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